Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dismasting at Balboa Yacht Club

I've heard boats getting dismasted while out at sea, but i never thought my first time seeing one would be while i was safely moored in a yacht club! This afternoon i was sitting in the cockpit having a beer and watching the cargo ships go by, when the periodic wake of a tug disturbs my quiet afternoon and i grab my beer to make sure it doesn't go flying. I see the other boats doing the wake dance bucking with the waves when i hear a loud ping noise, followed by another and then i see the mast on the boat in front of us collapsing with each additional passing wave!

As we're right by the channel for the Panama Canal, we are not allowed to drop our dinghy. I couldn't head over there, but i quickly got on the radio to inform the yacht club. Within a few minutes the club boats were over there.  Luckily it looks like the owners were not on board.

I feel really sorry for these people. I can't imagine coming home to your boat to find this waiting for you. I guess in some ways it's better that it happened here rather than out and sea though!


  1. looks like casablanca--is it?? used to be owned by a lady named mary,if it is...

  2. At least the mast looks intact if it was keel stepped. If the owner is around we could help her. I've stepped my share of masts. We were dismasted while racing on an Etchells a few years ago in Bellingham Bay. I lost a $2 toggle and that cost us a $10,000 mast (three pieces). If they lost something simple like a toggle and the shroud itself is okay, then it can be re-stepped. I wonder if Hi-Mod or Norsemen fittings can be bought in the city?